Mini disc to iPod

  Drum 13:14 13 Jan 2007

I have a massive mini disc collection I would like to transfer to an iPod. The only way I can think of doing it is to use an optical out from the M.D. player to transfer the music to CD, then from the CD in my PC to the iPod. Due to the amount of material involved this will be a pretty major exercise, and I was wondering if perhaps and H. D. video recorder would be easier, or is there any other way?
Ideally I would like to go straight from the MD player to the computer, but is this possible?

  vinnyT 13:45 13 Jan 2007

I had this prob when upgrading to an flash based mp3 player (best move I've made in a while).

I connected the md to the optical in on my soundcard, and then just played the music, recording via audacity (free from click here). To save/export as mp3, however, you have to dload and install the LAME MP3 encoder (click here), instructions to install are click here.

Hope this helps.

  Drum 11:31 14 Jan 2007

That's a very comprehensive answer vinnyT, and thank you for the information, however I've got a small problem in that my PC has no optical input, only mini Jack, s video, microphone, composite etc, and I'm a bit worried about loss of sound quality. My PC is very new but it's not a media centre and has no separate sound card, although I do have a Sound Blaster card I could insert into a PCI slot. This however has no optical in either.
Although my MiniDisc player and hi-fi both have optical out, for the moment I've no means of recording this optical digital signal.

  vinnyT 13:42 14 Jan 2007

You could just go through the microphone socket and providing there is little/no interferance there will be little loss in qualtiy, record from there, if there is alot of interferance this could be due to the onboard sounds proximity to other input/output ports and position on the mobo, wiring, etc.

In this case, installing the soundblaster card should improve matters, the futher from the onboard sound output sockets the better.

Only you will be able to tell if the sound is of sufficient quality for your needs (for instance, I have limited range of hearing at the bottom and top of the scale, and so don't notice all the imperfections that may be there).

If music is important to you, then the x-fi music will improve on the setup you now have (even I noticed a dramatic change when I upgraded recently). Of course this will cost, £50.72 inc VAT from ebuyer (click here).

Hope this helps.

  laurie53 15:30 14 Jan 2007

I had the same problem and I too have a Soundblaster card. I simply connected the MD player to the Line in on the card, and recorded using my normal record programme. I would suggest that any loss of quality is likely to be due more to MP3 compression rather than using an analogue signal.


  Drum 16:58 14 Jan 2007

I know you're probably right in saying that any loss of sound quality is more likely due to compression than transfer signal quality, but I really want to do this using an optical digital signal. I can't help thinking that because the mini disc format is already compressed, a further compression to MP3 coupled with a noisy transfer can't be much good. The x-fi card sounds great and gets some truly excellent reviews, but there is no mention of any optical input?
I've now realised that transferring to CD will involve me burning hundreds of CDs and is therefore probably not on. This is why I was wondering about an HD recorder, as I think that these probably do have an optical input.
Has anyone used one of these recorders for this?

  vinnyT 12:24 15 Jan 2007

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music;
1 x Line In (Jack)
4 x Line Out (Jack)
1 x SPDIF-In
1 x SPDIF-Out
click here

Sony/panasonic digital interface (both input and output)

That's the board I would get, ever so slightly cheaper from scan, too, at £50.51 Inc VAT (plus p&p). If you check their 'today only' page (click here) sooner or later in the week, they will likely have it for a few £s less.

  Drum 12:30 15 Jan 2007

I always thought that SPDIF stood for Sony/ Phillips, but that apart, what sort of connector does it utilise?

  vinnyT 14:09 15 Jan 2007

Yoe're right, it is sony/philips, sorry.

Here's the wiki for s/pdif, click here, that should tell you all you need.

With your mini-disk there should have been a TOSLINK fibre optical lead (there's a photo of 1 in the wiki link), connect this from your mini-disk to the s/pdif input of the s/card and record.

Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtream Gamer Fatal1ty Professional is available on the scan today only page, click here, (about halfway down) for £69.33. Do not get the X-Fi Extreme Audio above it, it does not have s/pdif. Unfortunatly, the X-Fi Xtreme Music card is not in stock.

Hope this helps.

  Drum 10:21 16 Jan 2007

Wow, Vinnie M8, that's great !
Think I'm sorted now, and thanks very much.

  vinnyT 11:30 16 Jan 2007


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